Alma, Mich. - The 2017 season for the Alma College baseball team continued the Scots' progression into a perennial contender in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association as Head Coach Jake Sabol, in his second year with the program, continued to develop Alma with one of the best offenses in program history.
The Scots finished the year with a 15-25 record, including a 13-15 record in the MIAA to tie for fourth place. Along the way, Alma posted impressive offensive numbers - finishing second to the school record-setting 2016 team in hits, doubles, total bases, at bats, RBIs and runs scored.
A trio of seniors - Greg Goffee (Dexter, Mich./Dexter), Alex Peczynski (Farmington Hills, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) and Adam Thoryk (Syracuse N.Y./John C. Birdlebough/St. John Fisher) were named to the All-MIAA Second Team, while Goffee finished third in the league with 22 stolen bases.
After a frustrating 2-10 start to the season, the Scots worked to regain their footing as conference play began. Alma dropped the opening series with Hope College before splitting with Albion College, then turned the corner with a 3-1 series victory against Trine University. The highlight of the year came on April 15, when the Scots swept league champion Adrian College in a home doubleheader, putting 29 runs on the board during the two games to split the series. The victories marked the first time since the 1992 season - a span of nearly 25 years - that Alma was able to sweep a doubleheader with the Bulldogs.
Following the weekend against Adrian, the Scots stumbled against Calvin College, dropping three of four games in a series that would ultimately decide the fourth seed in the MIAA Tournament. Alma remained in the hunt for the conference postseason after taking one of four games against Kalamazoo College, but a loss to Olivet College to open the final series of the year eliminated the Scots from postseason consideration. Alma finished the series taking three of four games against the Comets, including 22 runs in two games on the final day of the season.
Freshman Jaret Koin (Standish, Mich./Standish Sterling) joined the .350 club after leading the team in batting average while also recording 50 hits. Goffee and Peczynski joined the .300 club and recorded over 50 hits each, marking the first time in the history of the program that three players tallied 50 or more hits in the same season. In addition, Peczynski and Goffee lead the team with 68 and 67 total bases, respectively, becoming the first duo in program history to total 65 or more bases in the same season.
Goffee's team-high 53 hits were second all-time in a season, while his team-high 22 stolen bases ranked fourth in school history. He also became the first player in program history to notch 20 or more stolen bases in back-to-back seasons. Goffee finished his career with 47 thefts to rank second in Alma history.
Peczynski, the starting shortstop for the past four seasons, wrapped up his time at Alma with five school career records and second-place showings in three other categories. Peczynski established career marks for games played (160), at bats (533), total bases (200) and runs scored (90) and finished one hit shy of the school record, tallying 151 during his career. In addition, his 30 career doubles and eight career triples rank second in program history. Peczynski also finished with 78 RBIs to tie for fourth, and was hit 22 times while batting, matching senior Patrick Finn (Allenton, Mich./Almont) for the career record.
Freshman Max Trucks (Mt. Pleastant, Mich./Mt. Pleasant/Davenport) and Thoryk also earned spots in the .300 club as Alma hit .293 as a team.
On the mound, junior Eric Frontzak (Naperville, Ill./Montini Catholic) led the staff with a 3.68 ERA and a record of 8-4 in 12 appearances, recording the most wins by an Alma pitcher since the 1981 campaign. He also pitched a team-high 71.0 innings and led the team with 51 strikeouts.
Senior Alex Valasek (Saginaw, Mich./Nouvel Catholic Central) finished his career with 161 strikeouts - third-most in school history, while his four career shutouts tied for the program record. He also finished the season with a career total of 181.2 innings pitched to rank among the top 10 pitchers in Alma history.
Eight seniors will depart the program, including: Finn, Goffee, Peczynski, Thoryk, Valasek, Edward Farington (Rockville Centre, N.Y./South Side), Jerome Jackson (Harper Woods, Mich./Harper Woods) and Mike Mallory (Ithaca, Mich./Ithaca)